Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving

I recently discovered the cool webmag, Pictory. Aside from the wonderful collections, I really like that the right arrow scrolls to the top of the next image. How'd they do that? Check it out.

A unique cloud rainbow. The sun was not visible through the clouds behind me. Four shot mosaic @35mm.
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/10
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/10
Greggs Creek.
Greggs Creek, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/10
Thanksgiving walk, Ophir beach.
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Greggs creek, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
So a hypothetical question, if I had $400 to spend, would it be a new lens or a compact camera?

I've been shooting with the d5000 a lot. I like it but the tiny range of the kit lens at 18-55mm is limiting. Last fall when first looking for a new camera, I drooled over the Sony A900. I'd very much like to play around with a high end Sony some day. I imagined I was accustomed to Sony's sensor color, but after 4 months of shooting with both a Nikon and Sony, I find the color differences very subtle. Anyway, back to the imaginary spare $400. . .

I'm split between a quality pocket camera and a longer lens for the Nikon. Juha Haataja impresses me with his quality and the joy he has shooting with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. (I heard from Juha, and he shoots with the older Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3) I feel a certain lament in that I was once very happy to just be shooting with the DSC-H1 while traveling about the country. Now here on the beautiful Oregon coast I'm bitching about SLR lenses. Allow my thoughts about a compact camera to drift here. I was recently reminded of my old Sony w810 phone with a 2mp camera. It was a discreet, fairly high quality camera. At 2mp, it's similar to my 3G iPhone, yet it produced much better images and was a lot more fun. I wonder about this zoom attachment, or perhaps one of the many iphone camera apps, like Hipstamatic. It's the shutter I don't like; effectively pushing the lens to take a picture.

Another brief tangent: why are point and shoot/ultra zoom cameras able to zoom in so much more than SLR cameras? Evidently the large sensor size of SLRs is why they need such large (and expensive) lenses to match the range of a point and shoot. Magnifying something small can be accomplished with less glass than something large. My old DSC-H1 has an impressive 35mm equivalent range of 36-436mm, with a 1.7x telephoto adapter that brings it up to 742mm. So back to window shopping. . .

For the d5000, I am thinking of the 16-85mm or a separate 55-200mm. I am also intrigued about a simple, quality fixed focal length lens, somewhere around 35mm. An imposed limitation can sometimes be very helpful; perhaps this Nikon 35mm?
It was a rather large dinner party. Lou's 'calm before the storm.'
Lou the cat, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Trying out being discreet with the giant Nikon.
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
Difficult lighting for handheld, no flash photography.
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
A wonderful meal.
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
I earned a temporary nickname as 'the fucking shite' during a game Taboo.
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
I promptly gave away four points in my first turn. Irish folks have such decorative language. If not for my love of The Commitments, I would have taken it quite wrong.



A technical postscript. I want to discuss the rather unsuccessful 6467 briefly. M y old habit would be to zoom much tighter into the breaking wave. I see some image funkiness. Is it the lens? Are my weaknesses as a technical photographer revealed? Because I don't know if I could have exposed this better and still captured the moment.

There's not a lot to it. Point, focus, wait, shoot. My longstanding Photoshop practice is to adjust the levels occasionally, and to resize for web output. I'm a little 'anti Photoshop' in my photography, though I do find that the way I resample the images yields good results. Here is the original, with a crooked horizon and poor pixel value distribution. It was a gray, diffuse light. The histogram of the shot tells me something about exposure adjustments that I haven't yet learned.
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
In this case, adjusting the levels en masse made the image strangely saturated. It's not very real looking nor intentional. It finishes up looking messed with.
Ophir beach, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/25/10
I rarely worry about this sort of thing. Yet I sense this is precisely the kind of image that could be better if I knew more about what the hell I was doing. Here it is again, unworthy of this much screen time:
Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©11/24/10

2 comments:

  1. Actually, I'm using the older LX3, not the LX5. Not that I haven't thought of upgrading every once in a while. But why change if the tool works?

    For me, the LX3 is just the right size, fitting a pocket, allowing me to carry it around almost everywhere. And it has functioned in all kinds of conditions, from foggy and rainy days to really cold, up to -30°C. I have even managed to drop it from waist level to rocks and floors, and it is still working well, with over 140,000 exposures taken so far.

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  2. Nikon engineers deliberately underexpose camera metering. You can load free custom profiles from the web, or make your own with Nikon Capture ($). You could overexpose 1/2 or 1 full stop. I prefer to spot meter the dark area of the scene, and lock it in with shutter button half pressed while I recompose and fire.

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